Our next reading is Isaiah 16:10-14
v10: Plentiful field (literally: Karmel): Karmel was a choice piece of land (a ‘plentiful’ land).
- In the vineyards there will be no singing: Usually when the winery is full of wine the people rejoice. This is not going to be the case here. There will be no joy in this vineyard.
- Treaders: The people who step/tread on the grapes in order to get the juice out of them.
- Cease: This word is the same root of the word for “Shabbat”. It is a word that is associated with a stopping. There is no longer a harvest in Moab. Nothing good is coming out of it.
v11: My heart (literally: intestines) shall resound … and my inner being: Isaiah sees the vision concerning Moab and it grieves him. He knew that Israel had been called to be a blessing and a light to the nations (Gen 12:3), but Israel had not been obedient to this call and nor had they been a light to the nations. As a result, the nations were going to be destroyed.
- (Heart): Intestines: The inner part of his stomach, his bowels. It is used poetically to describe that sinking feeling we get in the pit of our stomach when we are grieved or upset about something. It is also used as an expression for being moved to have mercy or compassion on someone (Matt 9:36).
- Resound like a harp: It is like a dirge being played.
Note: Isaiah’s sadness does not mean that he is disagreeing with G-d. Isaiah acknowledges that G-d demands justice and righteousness and that His consuming wrath is appropriate. However, Isaiah is never-the-less grieved because of the destruction of life and land. If there had been repentance this could have been avoided.
v12: Weary: Moab had very little strength or power. They will have very little ability to respond differently.
- The high place: The place of idolatry. Revelation 9:20 tells us that when G-d is pouring His judgment upon the nations, the one thing they would not repent from is their idolatry. This is what is happening here.
- Come to his sanctuary to pray; but…will not prevail: Many scholars interpret this differently. A possible explanation is that they were wanting to come to this sanctuary (perhaps this is the sanctuary/temple in Jerusalem) but it was too late. The time for “sending the lamb” (Isaiah 16:1) has past, and now there is no more time left for sacrifice. An illustration of this would be someone who is defiant and rebellious and who is unwilling to change. However, when they are being led to the gallows/electric chair etc to experience the outcome of their unrighteousness they begin to cry and plead for forgiveness. By then it is too late.
- Will not prevail: They are not going to be successful in this attempt to turn at the last minute, in the midst of G-d’s wrath.
v13: Note: The implication of this verse is that this is not new revelation. G-d has offered repentance. He has offered an invitation to Moab (and the nations) to join His people.
v14: Three: Biblically, the number three is the number for manifesting something.
- The years of a hired man: Culture can play an important role within a context Biblically, as in this case. Often, at that time, an individual would hire himself out to someone for three years. At the end of those three years, he would be free to go, but he would leave empty handed. During those three years he was simply sustained (receiving lodging and food) but he received no profit from his work. What this verse is implying is that there will be no profit for those who have adopted the Moabite mindset and philosophy (identity, idolatry etc) when this judgment is revealed.
- The glory of Moab: This is an earthly, fading glory.
- Despised: (Literally: Weakened). Made light. Become insignificant. What we can learn from this is this: when we have the wrong identity (ie when we are not identified as a servant of the living G-d, as a disciple of Yeshua) everything in our lives is going to be insignificant (Matt 16:26).
- All that great multitude: Her great wealth, her abundance, all she achieved etc will become insignificant in light of G-d’s judgment.
- The remnant: The few who G-d allows to remain.
- (She will not be mighty): This is not the word for ‘feeble’, although it implies a feebleness. Those who do not follow G-d will lack stability. Nothing that they do will endure.
Note: We do not want to have the wrong identity. We do not want to be among the wrong people. We want to embrace the instructions of G-d. We want to unite with the people of G-d and do the will of G-d. If we live in a way that is pleasing to G-d (ie accept Yeshua as our King and Saviour – G-d’s provision for us), we will experience eternal blessing in our lives and not eternal judgment.